A geographic information system (GIS) is an excellent tool for determining timber procurement zones. This study focuses on the procurement zones of two wood processing facilities in Arkansas, one in Fort Smith and one near Menifee. Since the two mills began operation in 1995, there have been questions about the long-term effect on the hardwood timber resource of the region. The "wood basket" for these mills must first be determined before their effects can be studied. Transportation from the harvest site to the primary processing facility accounts for a large portion of the total mill-delivered cost for raw material and this cost limits the range that raw woody material can be shipped. Determining transportation costs using GIS and U.S Census Bureau topographically integrated geographic encoding and reference (TIGER) line files of existing road systems can aid managers in determining procurement zones. Spatial analysis was conducted using the GIS software ArcView 3.1 (ESR Redlands, CA). The ArcView Spatial Analyst extension was used to divide the study area into 30 x 30 meter cells, and the each cell was queried to determine which of the predetermined road classes exists and a cost per cell was assigned. Total transportation costs were then determined based on road class. The result is a travel cost surface that more accurately predicts transportation costs than the traditional concentric cost rings extending from a mill in specified intervals.
Brewington, Robert; Williams, Richard A.; and Earl, Jeffery
"Using GIS to Model the Timbershed of a Wood Based Manufacturing Facility,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 54
, Article 8.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol54/iss1/8